The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 24 May 2008 / 19 Iyyar 5768

What Are You Doing?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"What are you doing?" asked Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik of his visitor.

The great Torah Sage who served as rav of Brisk was visiting the city of Minsk and a former student of his had come to meet him.

"I opened a shop," replied the student, "and am doing very well."

After a little while the rav repeated his question and received the same reply. When this happened a third time it seemed obvious to the student that he had not been understood.

"I fully understood you," the rav assured him, "but you did not understand me. Everything is determined by Heaven, say our Sages, except for the fear of Heaven. Your success in business is not your doing but that of G-d. But what you are doing in the area of serving G-d is what I have yet to hear from you."

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